On my last work trip to Melbourne, my wife was able to take a couple of days off and fly down to spend some time with me. The class I was teaching finished just after lunch on the Friday, so I was able to head out to Melbourne Zoo to meet Leanne who had been there since late morning. I think it had been about 18 months or so since I was last at the zoo. I remember they had just started on the new elephant exhibit, which is now finished - and I was quite impressed. They have created an asian village atmosphere, which lends a great feel to the exhibit. The elephant enclosure must be one of the best I've seen. They have a hut with some interesting displays in it that has an open viewing area lookout out over the elephant enclosure, so you can sit in there and watch the elephants in the cooler shade (or out of the rain !). There are other spots to get a good view of the elephant too - and in front of them are a large deep pool area for the elephants to swim in - which is a real treat. While we were there, they fed the elephant a watermelon (a whole one !), which it really seemed to enjoy, before it plunged into the pool for a swim, and they hosed it off as well. It was quite entertaining being so close to the elephant enjoying the water and playing with it's toys. Other things of note were seeing Yakini the gorilla - we were at Melbourne Zoo just after he was born in 1999 - and have made a point of going to see him whenever we can in Melbourne. Also, the orangutang was carrying a baby - and still climbing all over their enclosure (I have some photos I will upload when I have a chance). A bit of a disappointment was the redevelopment of the lions enclosure - (disappointed that it was closed, not that they were redeveloping) - since I've always liked the lion enclosure at Melbourne Zoo, with it's raised viewing platform giving you a great view. The baby Meercats are always cute, and I got some good photos too. Even though I was only there for a couple of hours, I had a great time. I enjoy Melbourne Zoo - and it is certainly nice to stroll easily around a zoo, unlike Taronga where you need your climbing shoes on ! Melbourne Zoo is well looked after with lovely grounds in a park-like setting. I'm disappointed that we weren't able to get to Werribee as well (haven't been there before) - but I hope to be able to make it there while on our way home to Adelaide for Christmas (a little bit out of the way, but possible !).